A while ago, my uncle gave me a piano. England used to be full of pianos, and while a lot of them have been destroyed they are still not an endangered species. You can easily buy a functional upright piano for £100. Mine is a Schönberg and was probably made in the 1920s. One particularity is the pitch: nowadays, instruments are tuned to the standard concert pitch (A at 440Hz), but prior to that was a long period of "pitch inflation" during which instruments were tuned gradually higher and higher over the centuries. So instruments between 1700 and 2000 were basically tuned anywhere between 415Hz and 440Hz, which makes a difference of about a semi-tone. My piano was probably designed for the so-called Scientific Pitch or Verdi tuning, around 430Hz, and it's definitively tuned lower than 440Hz. So it may sound wrong to a modern "perfect pitch" ear if you're not used to it.

This is not the first time I record this piano (Many Happy Returns) but it's the first piece to be just for the piano. It started with just a few chords and improvisation, then was progressively refined to the point where it was recorded and approximatively transcribed to a music score. It is still alive though, and played differently each time. Feel free to mess around with it. It's good to play during a quiet evening; "Soir d'été" means summer evening in French. It also helps during the winter.

In loving memory of my amazing friend Francesca, her everlasting musical influence and all the summer evenings we spent in her company. (22nd October 2016)